Just Another Day At the Office!

Now this was the last thing we expected when we drove into the office today! Occupy Olympia was evacuated from the park across the street and sure enough popped up across the parking lot in an abandoned building.  It was quite a site to see when you come to work in the morning.  SWAT TEAMS, PROTESTERS, EMERGENCY VEHICLES, REPORTERS… but we managed to carry on with business as usual.  We rerouted a few customers that were planning on having meetings at our office, and decided just in case things get crazy we better meet you at your office instead of ours.   ImageSource will probably be in the back drop of many pictures in your local and national papers today.   Luckily all turned out safe and no major incidents concerning any of the IS family.

 

Geetha French
Inside Sales
ImageSource Inc.

 

Why Imprint Documents?

This is a question we ask our customers when choosing scanning hardware for their Enterprise Content Management solutions.  It is easily overlooked when reviewing the specifications of a scanner, as it is a separate hardware purchase and generally is a business process requirement not a scanner specification requirement.

When there is a need to “imprint” or “stamp” a scanned document, it is required to have the date of the scan on each and every page that is processed. This requirement usually is used for tracking purposes or compliance to show that the document was scanned.

Do you Pre or Post-Scan Imprint?
Pre-Scan imprinting is the most common option that allows the organization to have the stamp on both the physical paper copy and the scan. The pre-scan imprint will print on the document PRIOR to the image reaching the scanners imaging lamps.  So the imprint stamp will also be a part of the scan image.

Post-Scan imprinting is generally utilized when an organization needs the data or tracking mechanism on the physical paper after the scan. This is mostly used to indicate if a page of paper has been processed or not.  The stamp is NOT on the scanned image.

Can I automatically imprint on a flatbed scanned documents?
Keep in mind when purchasing a scanner with a flatbed – either integrated with the scanner or as a detachable USB connected flatbed – there is no automatic imprinting option for the documents scanned using a flatbed.  Flatbed scanned documents will need to be manually stamped to meet requirements – either pre-scan or post-scan.

Another option for imprinting is “Software Annotation”…
If only a data or tracking on the scanned image is needed, software annotation could be considered.  With software annotation you have greater flexibility on where the imprint data can be placed on the image. Keep in mind software annotation needs to be part of your batch scanning process and is a separate software purchase to your hardware scanner.

So keep this information in mind when considering what is the “best fit” for imprinting based on your business process AND scanner requirements.
Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource,Inc.  

Less is MORE

I have a challenge for the readers of this blog.  Are you ready?   Take deep breath.   I want to challenge you to, DO MORE WITH LESS.   I think we are often taught to want more, that we “need more”.   I am challenging you to someone that can do MORE with Less.  I am sure you are wondering how this relates to content management, the topic I was asked to write about.   Well I think I can bring you to that reality, so continue reading.   Today we face an economic reality that is forcing us to do more with less.   It makes you think long and hard about what is important and what is needed.  This concept can be taken all the way to the documents that we deal with for our business processes.  Often we create business process around what we have “always” done.   I think it is time to stop and relook at your business.   How can capturing data as it is created and making it electronic increase productivity as well as reduce costs overall?   Many studies share the ROI of this fact.   Do more with Less.  Stop making more paper, and make Less.  Stop doing more work and do less.   If this is something you are ready to talk about, I know that our team of consultants are the right people to help you conquer that task.  It is a daunting one, but it must be done and you want the right people to lead you through the challenge.   We have done this for many years and have proven to be true professionals and experts at the task.

Please take a minute to read a Case Study done for the City of Kennewick .

“We’ve comfortably taken the leap to a paperless environment. Departments are much more self-sufficient in finding content. I no longer spend countless hours making copies & distributing them.”

– Valerie Loffler, City Clerk, City of Kennewick

Geetha French
Inside Sales
ImageSource Inc.  

Is Curiosity Enough to Attend a Conference?

On Nov 3rd & 4th there is an industry educational conference coming up called “NEXUS’11  – Where ideas emerge” being held locally in Bellevue WA.  I am often asked by customers what is the value and benefits of attending a conference.  So instead of me listing what I think the benefits and values are I decided to check out what other people said on the web and see others justifying ROI for attending – this is a summary of what was listed on the first few pages:

  • An abundance of new information to be revealed
  • Networking value amongst peers –learn from others in your profession. Share with others your experience and thoughts. Meeting folks who do what you do. Gain insight. Ask questions, get free consultations.
  • Where else can you find so many industry contacts facing the same issues as your organization?
  • Direct conversations with vendors and manufacturers – are there solutions and products that you are not aware of?
  • Conferences demonstrate new ideas, how products work and how other organizations have implemented them into their environments to solve challenges that your organization is experiencing.
  • When else do you have the opportunity to remove yourself from the daily grind and take a more strategic planning viewpoint? Step back and reflect on your job and the bigger picture.
  • Focus on what you will specifically bring back to the organization as payback for the investment – Session Content, tools, technologies, processes, vendor contacts, best practices, training, have a benefits worksheet for the conference. Source: Writing Assistance
  • Justify your Return on Investment – make sure you have session worksheets to summarize what you have learned, what major takeaways you gained from it, action items identified and the estimated impact the idea could make.  What business goals do you have before attending the conference and were they answered by the sessions you attended etc. Source: Gartner Justification Toolkit
  •  Attending a conference provides an opportunity to learn from experts, share ideas with others, and identify new knowledge and techniques. It is a productive experience given the knowledge explosion in the current information-rich era.
  • The information is already “digested’ and given to you in an easy to understand way. Practical examples/ case studies are given and questions clarified.

So hopefully this has increased your curiosity about this conference – take a look and see if you can justify an ROI on attending NEXUS’11. One thing I know for sure – as an attendee and also someone working at this conference every year, the ROI I gain is a HUGE payback for the company and my customers.

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Yes, You Need Maintenance on Your Scanner

As budgets get tighter it’s inevitable that the need for hardware maintenance will come into question. It’s like insurance in your own personal life; nobody likes to pay for it but you definitely dont want to get caught without it.

If your equipment is mission critical, you need to keep it covered under a service contract.
If you don’t have the budget to replace it immediately, you need a service contract.
If you are unsure what model it would  be replaced by or where or how to get it you should definately maintain your service contract.

There does come a point in time when it is more practical to put those renewal dollars towards a replacement.  If you’re working with a good company such as ImageSource we will let you know at renewal time that you should be planning for your replacement either this year or the year after. We can help you select a model and also review compatibility.

Upgrades can be tricked and can trigger software upgrades at the sametime, these are best planned for rather than inadvertenly discovered.

If you need assistance planning, renewing or replacing your scanner please give us a call.
Thank you for your time!

Ruben Kerson
Inside Sales Manager
ImageSource Inc.

Process Improvements – Leveraging Technology – Content Store

 

ILINX® – Content Store

Simple, Easy, Efficient –

Imagine having information at your fingertips.

The power of a piece of paper?   Often what you need to get your job done exists on a “piece of paper” somewhere other than your very own desk.   Think back to life before working in the Document Imaging world and the amount of time wasted trying to gather information. If that was true for me, even in very high tech companies, imagine how it is for others.    Often the things we need to access are very similar between companies and industries.   We all need access to customer information: invoices, P.O’s, shipping information, approval documentation, etc. etc.

ILINX Content Store provides one place to keep this information and a searching capability  similar to a “google” search for your internal documents.  It is truly one of the most user friendly efficient software that I have seen.   How do you make a decision to begin turning the paper in to “less paper?”   Without a doubt in the long run it will save you time and money.   Two things every company can have more of!

Geetha French
Inside Sales
ImageSource 

The Power of Partnerships

Working with other companies and their staff to deliver a product and service to a customer can be an enlightening experience.  I have recently been working with 4 of the top leading scanner manufacturer partners to assist a healthcare customer with their distributed capture initiative-with the evaluation and the purchase of 160 desktop scanners for capturing patient intake information.

The customer evaluated the 4 manufacturers’ desktop scanners. A number of factors influenced the healthcare customer on their decision to work with ImageSource and to purchase the following scanner evaluated:

  • The ease of use of the scanner equipment and software
  • Availability of the manufacturer’s sales person and sales engineer to be on-site to install the scanner, the numerous conference calls to answer questions that unfolded due to the testing of the scanner and every question was treated with utmost importance.
  • The attention to detail by both ImageSource and manufacturer to modify the demonstration of  the scanner and that the scanner software solved a number of their various documentation challenges (for example – the patient intake documentation varies is size, thickness and also includes plastic cards)
  • The high level of thorough communication between ImageSource and manufacturer (In the customer’s eyes it seemed they were working with one company, not two!)

The greatest learning experience and also the most important factor that made this a stress-free process was the level of trust that was initiated, grown and experienced by all parties involved;

  • From the customer perspective: Working with two teams from different companies- it did not matter who they called (whether it be ImageSource or the manufacturer), they received the same high level of service from both companies. Both companies kept each other informed of the conversations etc. they had with the healthcare customer, therefore alleviating any miscommunications or misunderstandings.
  • From the Reseller vendor (ImageSource) perspective: The high level of communication and interaction with the manufacturer’s sales team created a streamlined cohesive focus to ensure the customer received what they REALLY required from a scanner.
  • From the Manufacturer perspective: Being able to rely on a vendor partner that has the knowledge, expertise in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and initiative to go the extra step – to focus on how to solve the customer’s challenges, not just sell a scanner. It gave us the manufacturer room to really excel in presenting how the scanner and software was the solution to the customer’s challenges.

It is refreshing to experience this unique partnership among the customer, vendor and manufacturer. And I know from all involved, that it set the stage for a high level of expectation in the future opportunities to do business together. This experience reminds me of this quote I saw recently:

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Winston Churchill

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.